General News of Thursday, 17 October 2019
Ghanaian citizens have, many times expressed outrage at the quality of service some police officers are rendering, as there have been numerous cases of the police assaulting and harassing some citizens, who are in most cases innocent of the crime.
The Ghana Police Service Act 350, states among others that: “It shall be the duties of the Police Service to prevent and detect crimes, to apprehend offenders and to maintain public order and safety of persons and properties.”
GhanaWeb has listed top five cases of police assault that have incited the resentment of some Ghanaians to the ‘men in uniform’.
Police Officer dehumanizes a female client of a ‘savings and loans’ institution
In July 2018, a viral video showed the harassment of a nursing woman by a policeman. The woman, madam Patience Osafo after several hours of waiting in the Midland Savings and Loans financial institution trying to get an amount of GH¢250 withdrawn from her account, was told to go home and come back the following day because it was time for the bank to close.
The woman, sensing the injustice decided to not budge until she withdrew her money.
After several attempts to get her out from the bank had failed, an AK47-wielding police officer, Lance Corporal Amanor who was then in charge of security at the bank, exhibited his abusive character and mercilessly brutalized the woman who was with a baby.
The video incited the wrath of many Ghanaian individuals and organizations.
The Alliance for Women in Media Africa (AWMA) in a statement called “for nationwide action in defense of women’s right to conduct their business, enter banks or other public places, and live their lives free from brutality, victimization, and assault by law enforcement and their complicit enablers.”
Three Ghanaian Times newspaper journalists assaulted by the police
In March 2019, three journalists were assaulted by 10 police officers at Kinbu in Accra Central for filming the latter’s wrong practices.
The journalists recorded on camera, a traffic offence and an accident involving a police officer who was using an unregistered motorcycle.
The police officers who were not happy that the journalists had tried to record the accident, pounced on the journalists and physically assaulted them.
Malik Sullemana, a court reporter, Raissa Sambou, a general reporter and Salifu Abdul Rahman, an assistant editor, felt the full effect of the brute force used by the police officers, leading to two of them being sent to the hospital to receive medical attention.
This generated fury among Ghanaians and deepened the conversation of press freedom
Police assault 22-year-old lady in custody
Ama Agyeman, a 22-year-old lady in Kumasi, was arrested by the police in her community during a disagreement with her mother over her decision to sell her phone.
Ama recounted her experience of severe brutality when she was arrested.
“When they took me to the Sofoline Police Station, they beat me on arrival and then locked me up in the cells. I was hungry and thirsty but they wouldn’t mind me when I complained. They then handcuffed one of my hands to the cell door and started beating me.”
After she was severely tortured, the police said she tried to commit suicide in the cells.
She was taken to the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital and doctors indicated that the grave marks on her were because of severe assault and not an attempted suicide as claimed by the police.
Medical tests run on the victim also, proved the police’s story wrong.
“… Preliminary medical checks showed no signs of suicide but grave marks of severe assault,” one of the doctors said.
Driver butchered to death by three police officers
In October 2019, three police officers in the Ashanti region were involved in the alleged butchering of a driver at Adonfe.
According to the residents, the police officers stormed the area for an operation; looking for two individuals, but since they did not find them, they proceeded to ransack their homes, and had a heated disagreement with the deceased. They held him to the ground, punched his face, and began butchering him with a cutlass.
“The Command as part of the investigation has recommended the interdiction of three (3) Officers, namely General Sergeant Suleman Seidu, General Corporal Seth Agbango and General Lance Corporal Salifu Yakubu. In all Nine (9) Officers embarked on the operation but Three (3) of the officers have been implicated having taken active part in the incident, hence their interdiction,” a police statement read.
Policemen assault protestors
In November 2018, some Adentan residents embarked on demonstration after a car knocked a student of West African Senior High School (WASS) on the Madina-Adentan highway.
The accident becomes the 195th recorded on the Madina-Adentan Highway in that year alone.
The police were assigned to ensure that the demonstration was peaceful, but it rather escalated to clashes. Gun shots from the police pierced a car, injuring a woman and her son.
The police officers also assaulted some journalists and shot rubber bullets at protestors.
Then Inspector General of Police, David Asante Appeatu, said the police acted professionally, as far as he was concerned. He also told the public to provide evidence of police shootings.
“I am not aware of any police officer shooting, if you have, you may have to give information to the police so that we can do this investigation. We are looking at any person who was shot at, it is very important that we do this investigation,” he said.
Two police officers tear driver’s clothes into pieces
In December 2018, a viral video tweeted by blogger Ameyaw Debrah showed a man suspected to be an Uber driver being mercilessly pulled out of his car by two policemen.
The incident is said to have occurred around Sowutuom near the Pentecost University in the outskirts of Accra.
He was dragged and had his clothes torn into pieces. The driver’s offence is still not known.
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